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News & Features
Campaign 2004

Candidate Bio
Jim Ramstad
Political affiliation:
Republican Party
May 6, 1946
Jamestown, N.D.
Single. Resides in Plymouth. Protestant
Congressman from 3rd District. Former practicing attorney.
B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1968 (Phi Beta Kappa); J.D. from George Washington University in 1973.
Major political experience:
First elected to Congress in 1990. He is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Trade and Health Subcommittees.
Audio and Debates
Links and Resources
Campaign Web site:
Document www.ramstad.org
House Web site:
Document www.house.gov/ramstad/
Campaign 2002: Ramstad
Document Coverage of Ramstad's 2002 re-election bid
Campaign contributors:
Document Political Money Line
Candidate Pages
District Pages

Jim Ramstad

Jim Ramstad, a moderate Republican, has coasted through his three most recent elections in 2002, 2000 and 1998 with around 70 percent of the vote. His House voting record has been generally conservative on fiscal matters but a little more liberal on social issues. Ramstad is pro-choice.

Ramstad voted against a ban on assault-style weapons. He supports the death penalty for drug-related killings, murders of police officers, and for sexual assaults which result in death.

Ramstad launched his first bid for the U.S. House in 1990, saying "I want to work for job creation and economic growth as I've done in the Minnesota Senate for 10 years." He opposed raising federal taxes, saying "Taxes are an important facet of economic growth. In the face of a recession, raising taxes does not reduce budget deficits."

During the 105th Congress, Ramstad worked on a more personal issue — alcoholism. Ramstad, an alcoholic himself, introduced a bill in 1998 that would guarantee equal insurance coverage for treatment of substance-abuse addiction and other medical services. The measure was modeled after a new law that is intended to achieve similar parity for mental health services. Ramstad said addiction was a "life or death" issue for the estimated 26 million Americans who are abusing drugs or alcohol. "As a recovering alcoholic, I've seen firsthand the value of treatment for people like me who are chemically dependent," Ramstad said.

Jim Ramstad was elected to the U.S. House in 1990 with 67 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Lou Demars and re-elected in 1992 with 66 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Paul Mandell. He was re-elected in 1994 with 74 percent, defeating Democrat Bob Olson. He was re-elected in 1996 with 70 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Stanley Leino. Ramstad defeated Leino again in 1998, winning re-election with 72 percent of the vote in a race that also featured a third-party candidate. In 2000, he was re-elected with 68 percent of the vote. In 2002, he beat Darryl Stanton by a 72-to-28 percent margin.

Near the end of the 2002 election, he became the focal point of the Senate campaign, when, at a memorial service for Paul Wellstone, the senator's campaign treasurer exhorted him to vote for Walter Mondale against Norm Coleman. Ramstad stuck with Coleman. But while Kahn came in for heavy criticism, it was Ramstad who called him days later to say he understood Kahn's grief. In 2003, Ramstad helped persuade the House to pass a $10 million Wellstone Center for Community Building on St. Paul's West side.

In the election of 2004, Ramstad was, again, an easy winner, turning aside a challenge from DFLer Deborah Watts by a 65%-to-35% margin. See election results for the 3rd District.

Patty Wetterling's uncertain political future
Democrat Patty Wetterling lost her bid for Congress by 30,000 votes. But political observers say Wetterling, as a first-time candidate, made a good showing against incumbent Republican Mark Kennedy. Now many wonder about Wetterling's political future.
Minnesota members of Congress return to Washington
Minnesota is sending back all of the state's incumbents to Congress. Republican Mark Kennedy defeated DFL challenger Patty Wetterling in the race that garnered most of the attention. Kennedy received 54 percent of the vote in Minnesota's 6th District to Wetterling's 46 percent of the vote. Kennedy's victory means that Minnesota's congressional delegation will be split with four Republicans and four Democrats. Members of both parties say they hope to put the recent partisan rhetoric behind them when they go back to Washington.
Gutkencht confident of eighth term
For more than a decade, Republican Gil Gutknecht has represented the 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He's won his last few races handily. This year's election is unlikely to be any different. In fact Gutknecht is so confident he's barely campaigning at all.
Meet the Candidates: Mark Kennedy and Patty Wetterling
The congressional race in Minnesota's 6th District has been one of the most closely watched in the country. In what would otherwise be a relatively safe reelection campaign, Republican Mark Kennedy is facing a challenge from a very well-known first-time candidate: missing children's advocate Patty Wetterling. Minnesota Public Radio's Meet the Candidates series continues with back-to-back interviews with Kennedy and Wetterling.
1st District and 5th District debates
Minnesota Public Radio's Meet the Candidates series continues with the congressional candidates in the 1st and 5th Districts.
3rd District debate
Minnesota Public Radio's Meet the Candidates series continues with the 3rd District congressional candidates, incumbent Republican Jim Ramstad and his DFL challenger Deborah Watts. In the 2nd half hour, a look at the Senate races in South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Meet the candidates: 2nd Congressional District
A live Minnesota Public Radio debate between the candidates running for Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District. Republican John Kline is in his first term in the U.S. Congress and is defending his seat against Democrat Teresa Daly. Independence Party candidate Doug Williams was also invited to participate in the debate but did not respond.
Meet the candidates: 4th Congressional District
A live Minnesota Public Radio debate between the candidates running for Minnesota's 4th Congressional District. Betty McCollum, a two-term Democratic incumbent, is defending her seat against Republican Patrice Bataglia. Independence Party candidate Peter Vento was also invited to participate in the debate but did not respond.
Sixth District candidates debate
Sixth District Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy is defending his seat from well-known missing children's advocate Patty Wetterling, a Democrat. They square off at a Sunday evening debate in St. Paul sponsored by the League of Women Voters and KSTP-TV. Minnesota Public Radio broadcasts the debate as part of our "Meet the Candidates" series.
Kennedy, Wetterling stage final 6th District debate
Incumbent Republican Mark Kennedy and his Democratic challenger Patty Wetterling are involved in one of Minnesota's hottest congressional races. Their final debate was broadcast live from a Twin Cities television station.
Negative ads suggest close race in Minnesota's 6th District
Republican Mark Kennedy and the National Republican Congressional Committee are stepping up their criticism of DFLer Patty Wetterling. Both Kennedy and the NRCC are running television advertisements questioning Wetterling's credibility as a candidate and the special interest groups that support her. Wetterling says the ads are unfair and has countered with an ad of her own questioning the Republican tactics.
Congressional candidates debate in St. Cloud
The two candidates for Minnesota's 6th Congressional District met over the weekend for their second debate in St. Cloud. Incumbent Republican Mark Kennedy and Democratic challenger Patty Wetterling showed contrasting opinions on topics ranging from Social Security to the war in Iraq.
In Minnesota's sprawling 6th District, the battleground may be TV
The candidates in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District are battling over the war on terrorism and homeland security. Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy has been running an ad suggesting DFL opponent Patty Wetterling opposes the war in Afghanistan. Wetterling says Kennedy is misleading voters and has been running her own ads touting her accomplishments in fighting crime.
Hard feelings mark Minnesota's 2nd District race
Republican Congressman John Kline and DFL Challenger Teresa Daly met on Monday for their second debate. The two candidates are running in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, which includes some southern Twin Cities suburbs and stretches south into Red Wing and Faribault. The 2002 race in Minnesota's 2nd was fiercely competitive, with Kline and DFL opponent Bill Luther both claiming the other was using underhanded tactics to get elected. The current race is likely to follow suit since both candidates are claiming their their opponent is engaged in mudslinging.
Kennedy, Wetterling debate issues in 6th District race
Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy and DFL challenger Patty Wetterling met in their first head-to-head debate on Sunday in Minneapolis. The two candidates are running in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, which takes up St. Cloud, the northern Twin Cities suburbs and eastern suburbs, such as Woodbury and Stillwater.

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